Look Ma, I really do work in the Idaho Capitol!

A distinguished group of proud parents got the VIP tour of the Capitol Monday, meeting with Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa in their private offices and getting to see their kids on the job.

The dozen parents are from Idaho Falls “study group” of friends that meets to discuss ideas and books and sometimes travels together. They also were scheduled to tour the Supreme Court.

The group included Harold and Enid Davis, parents of Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis; Roger and Laura Jo DeMordaunt, parents of House Education Committee Chairman Reed DeMordaunt;  Kim and Sharyn Johnson, parents of Dwight Johnson, assistant deputy director at the Idaho Department of Labor; and Sheila Olsen, mother of Steve Olsen, Wasden’s civil division chief.

Sheila Olsen, a member of the Idaho Human Rights Commission and former redistricting commissioner, took the opportunity to ask Wasden what her son does.

“I haven’t told her yet!” joked Steve Olsen.

Wasden explained the civil litigation division, as well as the criminal side.

Wasden also explained why he has the most magnificent office in the Capitol: It’s the old Supreme Court Law Library, restored during the Capitol renovation and left with its original footprint out of respect for historic preservation.

Historic volumes still line the room, prompting Sen. Davis to needle Wasden: “We in the Legislature wish the attorney general would cite the Idaho Code more often in giving advice.”

Retorted Wasden: “In response to that shot across the bow from the senator, I wish they would pick it up and read it more often!”

The parents pronounced themselves pleased. “I’m not a politician,” said Roger DeMordaunt, a retired pediatrician. “But my son has pure motives in doing this. He wants to be a force for good.”




Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

Posted in Idaho Politics